Making IBM ODM Decision Services portable across z/OS and distributed platforms

IBM Operational Decision Manager (IBM ODM) is a rule based decision management platform with capability to provide decision services for applications and processes to improve solution agility, governance, re-use and automation. It also empowers business analysts and IT to author and deploy rule-based decision services across distributed Unix, Windows, Cloud and z/OS environments. The same business rules can be authored, tested, deployed, and integrated to be run on these platforms.

Businesses can derive value in authoring their business logic once and invoking it from different applications and processes. Let’s consider an insurance company with multiple underwriting applications, one for online quotes and the other for renewals and updates to policies. They may have eligibility, risk and pricing decision services to support the processes. In some cases these applications may be deployed to different platforms. As the business policy is defined once in the company, the decision services can be implemented and deployed across the platforms to meet the different application needs. To demonstrate such different application implementations might be:

  • Online quoting application is implemented as a application running on J2EE platform with ODM decisions implemented as a dynamic web service with both hosted in a distributed environment
  • Policy Renewals and Updates application is implemented on z/OS and decisions are hosted in ODM Decision Server for z/OS. The quoting application uses a COBOL program to read the applicant’s data also stored centrally on z/OS and invokes the same eligibility and pricing decisions.

In this short article, we will present the best practices and precautions to take to deliver this decision automation portability.

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